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Live here, live now.

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21 Mar '24
4 min read


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I love travelling. I am not an exotic traveler. I just love the idea of going somewhere. It may be as short a distance as a nearby Temple or a cafe, or as far away as a distant hill-station. 

It's my upbringing as also my sister's influence that I like to take in the little details around me, whether I am going on a well-accustomed path or a completely unfamiliar one. It may be something simple like a particularly beautiful Sun, a refreshingly cool breeze, rustling of leaves, chirping of birds, the way the flower-lady has arranged her ware, the way the Dosa-wala serves his plate appetizingly, the precision with which the roadside coconut-seller cuts open the tender coconut, the din of human interaction, the aroma of coffee……. I note it all and love it all, absolutely.

But since last few years, I have become lethargic. I don't feel like leaving the comfort of my home and going anywhere. I am trying to figure out the reason behind this ‘sudden’ change in me. 

Is it marriage and parenthood? Don't get me wrong. Both are important milestones in one's life. But both are high responsibility roles. I could not have agreed more when a dear friend of mine once commented, "Parenting is when the days go by slow but the years fly by fast." The reason for my reluctance could be too much work, pre and post travel. Or is it that since I travelled alone extensively with my kids when they were very small, such adventures have drained me completely? I don't know.

The result is my vehement opposition to any proposal to travel. So it's been with some regularity that I have been resisting travel. When goaded, I say, “let the kids grow up then we will go.”, “Let the kids get into good colleges, then we will go.”, “Let them get good jobs/ settle down/ get married, then we will go.” The latest is, “Let's go when we retire. Then we won't have any pressing responsibilities. We will be free.” At least, that's what I thought, partly because the way the ad-agencies sell the ‘retirement dream’. I must admit I got carried away by that.

Have you seen the ads on retirement ‘plans’ where you see this senior citizen couple, fairly energetic and seemingly healthy, elegantly dressed and having a gala time after retirement, without any care?

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But I see senior citizens around me and barring a few exceptions, real aging is not so dream-like. Aging is inevitable and there is nothing odd about it. But one cannot rule out the unique set of challenges that comes with it. The fears and concerns of aging are real, prime being fear of surviving one's spouse. Then there are a host of physical ailments- poor eyesight, joints pain, knee pain, lack of appetite, insomnia, general decline in energy levels etc. One consumes more pills than food! I don't even want to talk about mental issues like lack of purpose, fear of becoming irrelevant and consequent low self-worth. Hmmmm, So the retirement dream they sell is just that, a dream!

All these observations have made me take a good look at my own resolve of not to travel until I retire. How wise is it to postpone your dreams and passions to some future date? What is the guarantee such a time will ever come? Or even if it comes, what if we are so altered by that time, that the ‘dream life’ becomes elusive? That would be scary and disappointing, would it not? So I have made up my mind. I will live here, live now. 

After all, there is a lot of wisdom in the phrase-"tomorrow never comes." Call that friend, now. Finish that book, now. Complete that artwork, now. Learn that skill, now. Do that positive change in you routine, now. In short, whatever it is that you have set your heart on, do that thing now. Begin it. Tomorrow never comes. So live here, live now.



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Written by Vishnupriya VijayGanesh